Four C's That Define a Leader

M File | Posted on April 14, 2010

What a stressful week, and its only Wednesday. Last week I had a liberating conversation with a twenty something year old about leadership. Like most people her age, she believes leadership is defined by our credentials, accomplishments, even our own delusions of grandeur.

Bright as she is, she hasn't quite mastered that real leadership is defined by your influence, not your accomplishments. We gain influence by being a person who empathizes with our client, friend, husband, wife, customer, etc. People need to feel you are actively participating with them, not simply spectating. The Four C's of a leader can be defined as:

  • Compassion – a desire to remove the suffering of someone or something 
  • Conviction – to be consumed with guilt if you don't act
  • Courage – being afraid, but moving forward and doing the right thing anyway
  • Commitment – dedication to finish a task or mission